Though some may have medicinal uses and value in other areas, it truly seems that the reason flowers exist is to pour beauty into the world. It’s a common urge amongst many people to want to bring some of this beauty into their own back yards. If you’ve never gardened before – or never tried your hand at growing flowers – you may not know where to start. It’s actually quite simple to get some stunning results with just a little effort. Some of the most gorgeous flowers are able to grow in all types of soil and even under shady conditions.
Annuals are plants that grow through one season and then die (as opposed to perrenials, which can regenerate the following season from the portion of them that’s still underground). Some of the flowers produced by annuals are prized by florist shops and can be a bit costly for the rest of us, but it’s not difficult to bring tham to life in our own private landscapes. The easiest annuals to grow are the ones that are self-sowing. This means that new plants can grow from seeds dropped by the previous generation. You can plant these varieties directly into your garden patch from seed, and watch them not only bloom but then continue to propogate themselves. The annuals in the following list are all self-sowing, and can be sown directly into the garden from seed rather than grown indoors, first, in containers.
This plant produces dense clusters of tiny white flowers. If you trim back its worn blossoms, it will continue to bloom throughout the growing season. Alyssum is a hardy plant: it resists heat, tolerates low moisture, and can thrive in nearly any type of soil and from full sun to partial shade.
Also known as Pot Marigold, Calendula has a fiery heart and brilliant orange petals. These petals, incidentally, are considered edible. Calendula is every bit as adaptable as Alyssum.
A smoker you may not be – nor may you respect the tobacco industry for growing the more commonly known tobacco plant in such quantity, but one look at the pink starfish-shaped flowers of Nicotiana (which belongs to the Nightshade family) and you may be in love.
Zinnias produce really dense clusters of flowers in an array of colors: pink, yellow, orange, red, and white. This is one of the quickest flowers to bloom from seed.
Also referred to as “Devil-in-a-bush” and “Love in the mist”, Nigella is often used in dried flower arrangements. It looks beautifully exotic in nature, though, with its narrow, threadlike leaves.
A dazzling array of colors – white, pink, yellow, orange, red, and blue, and each painting a single flower per stem.
A twining plant with flowers shaped like funnels, Morning Glory derives its name from the fact that its flowers usually only open in the morning.
Always be sure to follow the directions printed on your seed packets when you plant, especially in regards to spacing. You should churn up your soil with a spade, going six to eight inches deep, and then mix in some manure, composted soil, or other organic material. Slow-release granular fertilizer can help annuals grow to their full potential. Be gentle with your seedlings in the beginning. After planting, tamp the soil to better connect it with the seeds. When you water, use something with a spout that lets out a gentle shower as opposed to a spout. Hard watering can dislodge young roots. Remember that if your annuals survive their initial growing process, they might achieve a kind of immortality as their seeds survive winter to germinate on their own each succeeding year.